News by email Donate


Pews banner.PNG
Pews thumb.PNG
USA News

United Methodist Church lose 25% of churches amid same-sex tensions, says report

by Heather Preston

A new study from the Wesley Theological Seminary has found that the United Methodist Church (UMC) has had a quarter of its churches leave the denomination over views on same-sex relationships.

According to research from the Lewis Centre, 7,631 churches cut ties with the UMC between 2019 and 2023.

Following its 2019 general conference, the UMC strengthened bans on same-sex marriage and clergy members with gay partners by reaffirming its definition of marriage as the “union of one man and one woman” and barring the ordination of "self-avowed practicing homosexuals."

The affirmation that “all people are sacred and of equal value to God” was also made, with the Church stating that people could become active Church members irrespective of “sexual orientation or practice.”

The Church maintains that it “does not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers this practice incompatible with Christian teaching.”

The move has created discord across the denomination, with many raising concerns over LGBTQI inclusivity. 25 per cent of churches have disaffiliated from UMC since 2019, according to the study.

Data shows 71 per cent of disaffiliating churches came from the Southeast and South-Central regions of the US, while at least 20 per cent of disaffiliating churches are located in highly populated counties.

The UMC's next general conference is due to convene in April 2023, and is expected to address legislative proposals to change church policies on human sexuality and to restructure the denomination based on differences on this issue.

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email